UCSB’s sixth annual Human Rights Film Festival kicks off today at 4 p.m. in Campbell Hall, offering three nights of award-winning independent cinema to the campus community.

The event will showcase three different motion pictures each night, presenting a total of nine films about international issues. Students will receive free admission to all films for the first time in the festival’s history, while the general public can purchase a daily pass for $10 or a three-day pass for $20.

The motion pictures highlight struggles on each of the seven continents. Despite this broad scope, Arts & Lectures Associate Director Roman Baratiak said the global injustices presented in the films have local significance.

“Many of these films resonate in your own life; these are not things that are distant from anyone,” Baratiak said. “I think very often people believe that human rights are not something we need to be concerned with and that it’s all overseas.”

According to Nishika Kumble, a second-year English and film studies major, the series also presents an opportunity for students to broaden their cinematic tastes.

“We are so lucky to have an event like this right on campus that’s free to us,” Kumble said. “We don’t have many opportunities to see independent films in Santa Barbara, and that’s something students really need to recognize.”

Although the festival falls during the middle of the week, Kumble said she encourages students to find time to attend the event.

“I know it’s hard with school and other commitments, but students could at least go see one,” Kumble said. “It might not be commercial entertainment, but it’s good for you to go see something new and expand your horizons.”

Tonight’s program opens with “12th & Delaware,” documenting the battle of an abortion clinic and pro-life center that sit on opposing street corners, followed by “Korkoro (Liberté)” at 7 p.m., which features a Roma family who adopts a displaced boy in France during World War II. The evening will end with “Bhutto” at 9 p.m., a biographical documentary on Pakistan’s first woman leader, Benazir Bhutto.

Some of the week’s other films include “Nostalgia for the Light” — focusing on the world-renowned Atacama Desert astronomy site in Chile that contains intact remains of activists who disappeared in the 1970s — and “Soundtrack for a Revolution,” which retells the story of the Civil Rights Movement through the music of artists like John Legend and Wyclef Jean.

To access more information about the festival and the full film lineup, visit www.artsandlectures.ucsb.edu or call 805-893-3535.